Vaughan racism claims dismissed as ex-England captain speaks out
Michael Vaughan arrives for Yorkshire cricket racism hearing
Michael Vaughan has announced in a statement on social media that an England and Wales Cricket Board charge against him over an allegation he used racist or discriminatory language during his time at Yorkshire has been dismissed by an independent Cricket Discipline Commission (CDC) panel. The former England captain made the announcement on Friday after a long investigation.
The 48-year-old had been charged by the England and Wales Cricket Board with allegedly making a racist comment towards a group of Yorkshire team-mates – Azeem Rafiq, Adil Rashid, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan and Ajmal Shahzad – before a match in 2009.
Vaughan, who had always categorically denied using racist language, stepped down from a punditry role with the BBC when the allegations were made.
But the Ashes-winning captain has announced that the charges against him have been dropped and broke his silence on the matter with a lengthy statement released on his Instagram page.
Vaughan apologises to Azeem Rafiq but denies racism allegations [NEWS]
“It has been both difficult and upsetting to hear about the painful experiences which Azeem has described over the past three years. The outcome of these CDC proceedings must not be allowed to detract from the core message that there can be no place for racism in the game of cricket, or in society generally,” Vaughan said in the statement.
“As with others who have spoken about their time at Yorkshire, I can only speak of my own experiences and of my own time there. The dismissal of the specific charge that concerned me takes nothing away from Azeem’s own lived experiences. The hearing made public that Azeem and I met 18 months ago, well before the CDC proceedings came into existence. I told him then that I am sorry for his unacceptable, negative experiences at the club I love and in the sport I love.
“We had what I thought was a really positive and constructive discussion. We shook hands with a shared intention to work together in order to create positive change in cricket. For my part, nothing has altered in that respect. There is still a job to do and I remain keen to help bring about positive change in any way that I can. Cricket has been my life.”
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Vaughan also took aim at the Cricket Discipline Commission for their “inappropriate and inadequate” proceedings and explained why he never made a public apology, insisting he could not say sorry for “something I know I did not do”.
“Particularly with an issue such as this, CDC proceedings were an inappropriate, inadequate and backwards step,” he continued. “One of many reasons why I hold that view is because CDC proceedings are adversarial. They invite claim and counterclaim. They invite those involved to accuse each other of untruths or of lying.
“The inevitable consequence of the ECB’s decision-making was that three former team-mates, one of whom is a current England international player, were pitted against one another in what later became a public forum for the world at large to see.
“Despite being criticised by the ECB for not accusing others of lying, I remain of the view that no good can come of that approach. There are no winners in this process and there are better ways – there have to be better ways – for cricket to move forward positively and effectively.
“I have never wanted to do anything that runs contrary to genuine efforts to clean up the game of cricket. I truly hope people can understand why, on a personal level, I just could not accept or apologise for something which I know I did not do.
“At times this process has brought me to the brink of falling out of love with cricket. I won’t address here the toll that it has taken on me and my family but I had no doubt that is has also been incredibly stressful for all of the others concerned. I hope that for them and for cricket, an inclusive healing process can now begin.
“Now that the ECB’s charge against me has been dismissed, I want to thank the panel for their careful attention in very difficult circumstances and to thank all of those who have given me their support during an incredibly difficult period in my life.”
Five others were also accused – former Test stars Matthew Hoggard and Tim Bresnan, ex-Yorkshire coaches Andrew Gale and Richard Pyrah and former Scotland international John Blain.
Vaughan was the only one who appeared to defend himself with the charges levelled against him.
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